Florida summers can be brutal. This summer, temperatures in Tampa have stayed in the high 80s to mid-90s and they won’t let up for another few months. If you’re out in the heat while working this summer, be wary of heatstroke and heat exhaustion. These are serious illnesses that could land you in the hospital if you’re not careful.
Signs of heatstroke include:
- Headache, nausea, and potentially vomiting
- Lack of sweat
- Hot, red, and dry skin
- Temp over 103
- Rapid pulse
- May lose consciousness
If you’re working outside and you experience any of these symptoms, stop what you’re doing immediately and find a shady place to rest. You will also need to alert a supervisor so they can bring you water and transport you to a cooler environment. If you are the supervisor in an outdoor work environment, be sure to look for these signs in your employees. Be sure to offer them rest breaks and plenty of water to prevent on-the-job heat injuries.
Here’s how to prevent on-the-job heat stroke and other heat-related injuries this summer:
- Wear loose breathable clothing. While long sleeves can prevent sunburn, make sure that the clothing you wear is not heavy or constricting, as this will trap heat inside and raise your internal body temperature.
- Pace yourself. Ask for breaks when needed to allow your body to periodically cool down.
- Wear sunscreen. Sun damage is a serious problem in Florida. UV rays can cause permanent damage and even serious illnesses such as melanoma if you’re not careful. If your skin starts to feel hot or turn red, reapply.
- Stay hydrated. Not having enough water can cause you to pass out in the summer, especially if you’re sweating for long periods of time. Remember, sugary drinks and alcohol do NOT keep you hydrated. Drink water to stay up to the task, and sports drinks to replace electrolytes.
If you suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke on the job, you may be entitled to workers compensation. If your employer does not provide adequate breaks, water, and shady areas to rest and you suffer from a heat-related injury, you may have a personal injury lawsuit on your hands. Talk to Katherine Stone of Injury Florida Law to learn about your worker’s compensation options. She will walk you through the steps of filing, and ensure you get maximum benefits after your heat injury. Contact Katherine at [email protected] or call the offices to schedule a consultation today.